Continuing our 55-year anniversary celebration!
History of Parking/Project Spotlight
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Continuing our 55-year anniversary celebration!

As we continue celebrating our 55-year anniversary at Rich & Associates this month we are stepping back into the 1980s to recall some of our most unforgettable projects from the decade!

The Wayne State University Parking structure #5 is the fourth project designed by Rich & Associates on the Wayne State University campus in Midtown Detroit, it marks the first parking structure designed by the firm in collaboration with Walbridge Aldinger Construction of Detroit (now known as Walbridge). While this successful project is a fairly simple structure, it represents the birth of a long term successful relationship with Walbridge that spans more than 30 years. Since the successful completion of Parking Structure #5, Rich & Associates has had the honor of working with Walbridge on 26 parking garages, totaling more than 34,000 parking spaces, across the country.
The WSU Parking Structure #5 contains 1,078 parking spaces and was successfully completed in 1987 at a cost of $5 million.

While this successful project is a fairly simple structure, it represents the birth of a long term successful relationship with Walbridge that spans more than 30 years. Since the successful completion of Parking Structure #5, Rich & Associates has had the honor of working with Walbridge on the successful completion of 26 parking garages, totaling more than 34,000 parking spaces, across the country. Some of the more memorable design/build projects with Walbridge include;

Compuware Parking Garage (now One Campus Martius Garage), Detroit, MI.

  • 2,200 spaces
  • Ground level retail
  • Constructed over existing elevated people mover tram that remained in operation during construction
  • Two levels below grade and nine levels above grade.

Pierce Street Parking Garage, Tampa, FL

    .

  • 580 spaces
  • 10 levels
  • Constructed on tight downtown site

General Motors Warren Tech Center Parking Garages, Warren, MI.

  • 5 parking garages totaling more than 9,000 parking spaces

 

Rich & Associates, and our parking development and management affiliates MEDPark and MEDPark Management, were first involved with Iowa Methodist Medical Center (IMMC) in 1983. The 30-year relationship began when Rich & Associates first performed a parking demand study for the Hospital. The purpose of the study was to determine the parking space requirements for a new medical office building to be built adjacent to an existing medical building, and to project the future campus needs. A detailed economic feasibility analysis for a new 600 space parking structure was also completed as part of the overall study

Six months following the completion of the parking study, IMMC decided not to finance the much-needed parking structure and invited private developers to provide development proposals. MEDPark, Inc. was one of three competing proposals that the Hospital received. Upon review, MEDPark’s proposal was deemed the most financially sound and advantageous to the Hospital

Financing was secured and construction began the week of July 8, 1985 and the building opened December 23, 1985. From the time of selection to opening of the structure, the time frame was only 18 months. This included the re-design of all of the paid and employee surface lots.

In 1988 the Hospital was planning several construction projects and required additional parking. The Hospital approached MEDPark with the issue. Since MEDPark built into the original structure capacity to add two more parking floors, MEDPark was able to meet the Hospital’s needs. We were able to fast-track the financing, design and construction of an additional 400 spaces. The expansion was completed in August, 1990 bringing the total capacity of the structure to 1,000.

The final expansion of the structure was to the south and involved an additional 800 car spaces and 94,000 square feet of office space on the first two levels serving as the Hospital’s Medical Education and Research Center (MERC). The MERC includes an auditorium, physician seminar room, health sciences library, classrooms, banquet facilities, and Hospital administration offices. This expansion brought the total capacity of the structure to approximately 1,800 cars.

As owners and operators of the parking structure, MEDPark has invested considerable time and money improving the facility serving the hospital patients, staff and visitors. Columns flanking drive aisles were candy striped in black and yellow because an ophthalmologist reported that some of his patients had trouble distinguishing between shades of gray. We upgraded the lighting, testing new fixtures in the deck to provide better light distribution for patrons to feel secure. MEDPark also made a significant investment improving accessibility for the disabled by enlarging access doors to the Hospital and constructing a larger lobby and wheel chair drop-off area.

 

In 1984 at the Puerto Rico Medical Center there was no organized parking system. For the most part the parking needs were met by approximately 3,000 uncontrolled off-street spaces. Rich & Associates approached the challenge in two phases. The first phase involved the analysis and preparation of a parking allocation plan for visitors and patients, employees and students. Based on the plan our team then laid out a campus wide system of access and revenue control systems that included cashiered transient lots and card-controlled employee/student lots. Our work included preparing plans and specifications for the construction of new entry and exit plans, and the installation of access and revenue control systems.

In the second phase, MEDPark, Rich & Associates parking management affiliate, put together a partnership with a local partner to finance the parking improvements and operate the entire campus parking system for the hospital.

Then in 1985, Rich & Associates’ planning team conducted an exhaustive demand and economic feasibility analysis for the planned construction of an 800-space parking deck. Based on the demand and economic feasibility study results, MEDPark and their partners financed, developed and operated the parking deck and the campus wide parking system over the next 20 years.

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Parking Garages can be Eco-Friendly too!
Project Spotlight
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Parking Garages can be Eco-Friendly too!

Eco-friendly (green) building is becoming increasingly popular each year!

In honor of Earth Day this month, we’ve decided to take a closer look at the most common practices and benefits of Eco-friendly design and construction. Whether you’re building new, or overhauling an existing structure, there are many ways to implement Eco-friendly building practices into all types of designs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says “Green building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Green building is also known as a sustainable or high-performance building.”

Rich & Associates is committed to our environment and to responsible sustainable design. In every project we design, sustainability is always a leading program criteria. We take great pride in having played a part in the design of several LEED / GREEN Certified parking structures including;

Blue Cross – Blue Shield Parking Structure, Detroit MI.
LEED Certified

City of Traverse City – Old Town Deck, Traverse City MI.
LEED Silver Certified

Washtenaw Community College Campus Green Parking Structure, Ann Arbor, MI.
LEED Gold Certified

Ames Intermodal Facility, Ames, IA.
LEED Silver Certified

Some of the most common Green building practices are:

  • Using sustainable building materials like recycled glass and steel.
  • Installing energy-efficient windows and doors.
  • Using lower-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and stains.
  • Constructing green roof systems (aka “plants on your roof”) that offer many benefits, including on-site gardens, rainwater management, and protecting your roof from the effects of harmful UV light.
  • Adding water harvesting and purification systems that don’t just manage, but also make the most use of rainfall.
  • Maximizing natural light, which cannot only save on lighting requirements (and subsequently energy costs), but also help keep buildings warmer during the colder months.
  • Using renewable energy to power the building—for example, installing a commercial solar panel system.

Benefits you will get from a Green building:

  • Reduced energy costs while efficiently reducing trash, pollution and degradation of the environment.
  • Efficiently using energy, water, and other natural resources.
  • Reduced operating costs.
  • Enhanced indoor environment quality.
  • Low maintenance and operation cost.
  • Reduced carbon footprint.

At Rich & Associates, sustainable design is not just what we preach, it is also what we practice in our own parking structures. Through our affiliates, MEDPark and MEDPark Management, we are also involved in the development and management of parking structures. While some of our projects were completed before sustainable design was widely practiced, today we are upgrading our facilities to improve their operating performance and lesson their impact on the environment. We are always looking at ways to improve accessibility to reduce vehicle idling thus carbon emissions.

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We’ve made it to the ’70s!
History of Parking/Not Parking
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We’ve made it to the ’70s!

Continuing Our 55-year Anniversary Celebration!

As we continue to celebrate our 55-year anniversary here at Rich & Associates, we’re looking back in to the 1970′ at some of our firm’s more noteworthy projects!

The ’70s were a notable decade at R&A for many reasons. During this period, we expanded our services to include the private development and operation of parking garages and designed a garage that would later be recognized on a list of historic places worthy of preservation by the National Register of Historic Places.

First on our list is the Davenport Bank & Trust Garage in Davenport, IA.

Rich & Associates was first hired by the Bank to provide concept design studies for a parking garage to serve the Bank’s existing building. During the process, the project evolved to include four floors of new banking facilities adjacent to the garage and one level of office space above the garage.

Before moving into detailed design, the bank president, knowing of Richard C. Rich’s personal relationship with renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki, asked if we could engage Mr. Yamasaki in the architectural façade design of the project. As a favor to Dick Rich, Mr. Yamasaki agreed to provide the façade design on one condition. The condition was that his name and his firm’s name were not to be associated with the project in any manner. At that point in his career the scope of the project was not something that he or his firm normally took on.

The project was completed in 1971 and included a 220-space parking garage, 36,000 square feet of banking facilities adjacent to the garage and 28,000 square feet of office space atop the garage. On May 12, 2016 the Davenport Bank & Trust Garage was recognized by the National Register of Historic Places Program and placed on the official list of the Nation’s Historic Places worthy of preservation. The Davenport Bank & Trust Garage is noted as being exceptionally significant because of its multi-use function as a parking garage and office, unique within Davenport, and as a distinct high-style parking garage that exemplifies late Modern Movement Architecture.

Second is the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority Garage in Oklahoma City, OK.

This unique 1,500 space parking structure spans 3 city blocks. It features 28,000 square feet of ground level retail spaces open to 30-foot-wide interior light core in the center of the garage. The light core provided natural light into the lower parking levels and ground level area for restaurant seating. An articulated glass enclosed stair and elevator towers extends 26 feet from the parking structure providing connectivity to an adjacent hotel.

Rich & Associates provided parking consulting, architectural and engineering design services for this project which was completed in 1972

Coming in at number 3 on our ’70s list is the Locust Mall Parking Structure in Des Moines, IA.

In 1976 Rich & Associates provide parking consulting, design and engineering services for this mixed-use parking garage in downtown Des Moines. The Locust Mall Parking Structure, as it became known, was the result of a revitalization program in Downtown Des Moines, IA.. The site was surrounded by two large office buildings, a major department store and the site of a new hotel. Through careful planning, design and engineering, Rich & Associates was developed a successful parking plan that included parking for 711 cars and 96,000 square feet of retail spaces. The Locust Mall Parking Structure also featured an overhead bridge connection to a major department.

Rounding out our list of memorable ’70s projects at Rich & Associates is the Hurley Medical Center in Flint, MI.
This project represents the first parking garage privately financed, developed and operated by the firm through an affiliate company now known as MEDPark. Rich & Associates was first engaged by Hurley Hospital to complete campus parking demand study. At the conclusion of the study, it was determined that the Hospital was deficient of parking needed to support existing campus activities and the future construction of a new medical office building. Due to certificate of need restrictions, the Hospital decided to solicit proposals from private developers to design/build, own and operate a 660-space parking garage.

In 1978. the principals of Rich & Associates formed an affiliate company and was one of four (4) competing proposals submitted. We were successfully awarded the contract to develop and operate the parking garage as well the 45,000 square foot medical office building. We owned and operated both buildings for several years before eventually selling the facilities back to the Hospital. Since this time, Rich & Associates and MEDPark would go on to privately develop more than $90 million in parking projects and operate more than 10,000 parking spaces.

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Spring Cleaning!
Infograpic/Not Parking
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Spring Cleaning!

We are almost there! For many of us we are almost through another winter season.
The arrival of spring brings with it a fresh beginning, a time most of us use to our advantage to get some Spring Cleaning done! When we think of Spring Cleaning the first thing that comes to mind is cleaning out our homes and vehicles. Did you know that most outdoor structures require efficient Spring Cleaning to ensure longevity?

We’ve put together an infographic with tips on properly cleaning parking structures after a long winter!

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Celebrating 55 Years!
History of Parking/Not Parking
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Celebrating 55 Years!

As we celebrate Rich & Associates turning 55 this year, we’re taking a look back at some of our most monumental projects from our first decade! Rich & Associates is proud to have completed three “firsts” of a kind during our initial years!

Topping our list of “firsts” is Stanwix Autopark in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Stanwix Autopark was one of the first constructed mixed-use garages of its kind. It was designed in 1963, and combines 10 levels of parking totaling 700 spaces, ground level first-floor retail space, two floors of office space, and 12 stories of apartments. The garage also features a heated exterior express ramp, and a 76 ft. glass-enclosed carpeted and landscaped sky-walk to Horne’s Department Store! Stanwix goes down as one of our most influential projects and would ultimately pave the way for more mixed-use garages to come from Rich & Associates!

“Harry Shepard was the owner of Stanwix Autopark, I did a project for Harry three years prior (to 1963) while I was working for National Garages”, says Richard C. Rich, PE, founding President of Rich & Associates. “Together, Harry and I successfully completed one of the first self-park parking garages in Tallahassee, Florida. The project was successfully completed on time and below budget! When I left National Garages and went on to form Rich & Associates, Harry contacted me saying he wanted me to re-design his new garage known as Stanwix Autopark in downtown Pittsburgh. Harry and I had talked previously about combining other uses (retail and office spaces, apartments, etc.,) to a parking garage. Mixed-use design became a focal point of the new Stanwix project.”

“During this time, we were doing a lot of converting old attendant based parking lots into self-park parking lots, this was our main focus for the Stanwix project. Harry had an old loan out on his current garage and the only way he was able to convince the lender to allow him to tear down his existing attendant-based garage was to produce documentation outlining the costs and benefits. So, we worked with him analyzing and projecting the savings by transitioning into a self-service parking garage. We were able to demonstrate that the transition to self-service would ultimately result in the operation earning more money per space.”

The Pittsburgh Press published an article on Tuesday, March 17, 1964 stating that “the parking garage at Stanwix Street and Fort Duquesne is breathing its last today as wrecking crews will move in to raze the structure, making way for a 23-story multi-million-dollar public parking garage-office-apartment building which Harry W. Shepard Jr., (developer of the site) regards as unique, even in a city which has blazed the trail in urban renewal.” This new structure would be known as Stanwix Autopark.

This is not the only “first” that Rich & Associates experienced in our initial years. In addition to Stanwix Autopark being one of the first large scale mixed-use garages of its time, we were also responsible for designing what were to be considered the largest above-ground and underground garages at the time.

In 1966 Rich & Associates started the design of a 10,000-car garage (pictured below) at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois as parking consultants to C.F. Murphy Associates. The garage, at the time of completion, was the largest above-grade single parking garage in the world.

Rich & Associates then went on to design the largest underground garage (pictured below) at that time. We were hired by architect Minoru Yamasaki to design a 6,000-space underground garage that was built underneath two triangular office buildings known at that time as the “Theme Towers”, in Los Angeles, California.
Richard C. Rich, PE
President & Founder | Rich & Associates

Fast forward 55 years to the end of 2017, The East 2nd Street Parking Garage in Des Moines, Iowa opens!

“The East 2nd Street Parking Garage for the City of Iowa represents the 14th parking garage project that Rich & Associates has designed as parking engineering consultants to Neumann Monson Architects, of Iowa City. The relationship with Neumann Monson spans more than 30 years and has produced successful parking garages throughout the State of Iowa including Iowa City, Dubuque, Davenport, Ottumwa, Ames and Des Moines.”

“The East 2nd Street (City Hall) Parking Garage was built by the City of Des Moines to support the redevelopment of a public surface parking lot into a mixed-use retail and residential development. The parking structure features 540 parking spaces in six levels. A roof level structure over the top level of parking is designed and engineered to support the installation of PV arrays enabling the structure to achieve net zero energy.”
David Rich
Project Development Director | Rich & Associates

When we look back on the journey of these significant and remarkable 55 years at Rich & Associates we are proud of the foundation our success is built upon. We have accomplished a lot together in our first 55 years, but we believe that our greatest accomplishments still lie ahead of us. Here’s to the next 55!

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Not Parking
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1919 Garage Patent

Seeing how far parking structures have come is a good exercise to see how far they can still go. Twenty-five years ago, Rich & Associates gathered copies of many historic parking related patents illustrating some of the early creativity in parking design. Some of these patents date back as far as 1919.

The patent below is for a design created by Eugene Higgins in 1918, a fellow Michigander who hailed from Jackson, Michigan. This unique spiral ramp design was conceived for use as a self-service parking structure or a storage building. At the time, parking buildings were primarily attendant parking operations. Mr. Higgins’ design attempted to eliminate the need for valet attendants allowing motorists to park their own vehicles on one of the multiple levels.

While we have no record of this building type ever being constructed, the design represents one of the earliest plans for helical or spiral express ramps used in many parking structures today. While the helical or spiral ramp designs have significantly evolved over time, many parking designs and systems of today started with innovative engineers like Mr. Higgins.

At Rich & Associates, our planners and designers are always looking into new ways to improve parking like many of the early innovators like Mr. Higgins.

parking structure design

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The Rich & Associates Family

Rich & Associates Parking ConsultantsOur R&A Family:

Our veteran staff, comprised of architects, engineers, and planners, have turned Rich & Associates into a family-like culture of professionals who genuinely care about one another and our clients. “A lot of our staff has been working together since the start of our careers. We kinda grew-up together and went through many of life’s big moments. From getting married to having kids, and even grandkids now. It’s definitely a special environment and not something everyone gets out of their workplace.” -Sally Rich

Rich & Associates by nature is a family based company employing many children of our founder, Richard C. Rich. “Even if you are not blood-related, they make you feel like family”-Deb Kolar, bookkeeping

Recipe for Success:

Turnover is definitely not a problem at Rich & Associates. On average, our employees have been with the company for over 20 years. Our veteran staff is what sets Rich & Associates apart. The familiarity our staff has with one another is almost comical. Two of our senior designers have worked together on so many parking projects over the years they finish each other’s sentences. “They know each other so well it’s like they know what the other is going say about a project before they say anything at all.” -Sally Rich

Our culture is unlike many other firms in the industry. “I think the most important part of running a company is having everyone buy into the success of the company. When people are working for the success of our company along with the success of our clients— great things happen.” -Richard C. Rich

The entire company’s drive is to achieve and maintain a successful business and working environment even during stressful times like the recent recession. The past recession was a trying time in our company. During that period, we saw many firms shut their doors. But we banded together as a family and not only survived but thrived.

Over the past few years, we have been blessed. We have been engaged in many exciting parking projects throughout the country and have added new members to the Rich & Associates family. The holidays are a good time to reflect on how blessed we are to have a great place to work.

However, none of this would be possible without the many great partners and colleagues we have had the pleasure of working with and the many great clients we serve. Because of you, Rich & Associates will be celebrating our 55th anniversary in January 2018.

From the Rich & Associates family to yours, we want to thank you and wish you a very happy and healthy Holiday Season.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

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Cost of Parking
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Cost of Parking at Disneyland

Parking has significantly risen over the years. Today, it costs about $20 a day to park at Disneyland. But can you guess what year it cost only .25¢ to park there?

The answer is 1965.

Can you believe it only cost .25¢ to park at Disneyland!? While we must consider inflation, it is hard to imagine parking costs so low! Although we may never see parking costs this low ever again, keepsakes like this are a reminder of the “good ole days” when parking costs were as the cost of a gumdrop.

Disneyland Parking

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New Life At — Bloomfield Hills Park

If you worked in the A/E/C (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) field from 2008-2014 you are very much aware that the industry was in a very tough place. Large projects were halted, people were laid off, and some firms even folded. The recession hit our industry hard, but we are a tough group of individuals, who because of our grit and determination made it through that hard spell. 

Prior to the recession, there was a major mixed-use development project named “Bloomfield Park” underway in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The original development was to include 19 buildings made up of office space, retail and residential uses; along with three parking structures. Phase 1 construction, estimated at around $350 million, began in 2006. Abruptly the project was halted in 2008, due to the beginning of the recession. Left behind was a wasteland of unfinished buildings including the three parking structures.

Today, 9 years later new life is being breathed into the project. The new developer “REDICO” brings a new vision to the project, which includes demolishing most of what was originally constructed including two of the three parking structures. Construction of the 3rd parking structure was approximately 90% complete when the original development was stopped in 2008. 

Rich & Associates was retained by the developer to provide consulting and design services so that construction of the 3rd parking structure could be completed. When Rich & Associates assessed what construction work was in place and developed a scope of what work was needed to complete the structure, it was determined that due to code changes, deterioration, and outdated technology presented created new design challenges including; 

  • Code changes that required design and installation of all new handrails in the vertical cores.
  • Changes in the elevator shafts were required to accommodate elevators with technology different than the original design in 2006.
  • Repairs were required to some areas of the structure that deteriorated over time.
  • The roof of the vertical core (which was not in place when the project was stopped) was originally designed as a precast roof. The cost of erecting that precast roof piece today was prohibitive. Therefore, a new steel roof system was designed instead.

Finally, The heavy traffic on Telegraph and Square Lake Road will no longer be littered with reminders of the 2008 recession. The traffic will be invited to visit “The Village at Bloomfield” in the near future. Demolition on the unsoluble buildings is underway, and construction on the rest of the project is hoping to get started in Spring 2018.

 

 

 

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Project Spotlight
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1855 Place | Michigan State University

Big things are happening at Michigan State University.

MSU has invested in a new development that includes residential units, and office space. The new development known as 1855 Place, includes 429 units in 10 separate apartment buildings and an 881 vehicle parking structure.

We were lucky enough to work with world-class partners, Neumann Smith, Walbridge, and Kerkstra Precast in the development of the parking structure.

 

Michigan State Parking Structure

MSU Parking Deck

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